50 Things to Do at Bear Lake, UT
Bear Lake is a destination that appeals to nature lovers, outdoor adventures, and families escaping the hustle and bustle of daily living. While Bear Lake is famous for its turquoise blue waters, there’s an abundance of attractions, activities and things to do in Bear Lake that deserve a slot on your vacation itinerary.
Whether you’re still picking the ultimate destination for a family vacation, or in the final planning stages of your Bear Lake family reunion, here’s our list of the top 50 things to do in and around Bear Lake to add to your vacation itinerary.
BEAR LAKE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
#1 Stop by the Bear Lake Visitors Center
On your way into town, stop by the Bear Lake Visitors Center in Garden City to pick up local area guides on Bear Lake’s outdoor recreation, top attractions, and rich history. The panoramic views of Bear Lake make it worth a stop, regardless!
#2 Watch the Sunrise over Bear Lake
Start your day with a spectacular and dramatic sunrise over the turquoise waters of Bear Lake. The best place to watch a sunrise in Bear Lake is from the comfort of a lakefront cabin, freshly brewed coffee in hand, the sounds of nature and the perfect start to a new day in Bear Lake, UT.
#3 Sunrise Yoga at Conestoga Ranch
Awaken your body and mind with an energizing sunrise yoga session at Conestoga Ranch, overlooking the marina and the beautiful waters of Bear Lake. Beginners and advanced yogis are welcome.
#4 Beach Days on Bear Lake
If rest & relaxation is on your vacation itinerary, there’s nothing better than a beach day on the shores of Bear Lake. North Beach, on the northern shoreline of Bear Lake, and Rendezvous Beach in the south offer the best stretches of sandy beaches in Bear Lake for a day of sunbathing, sandcastles and shallow waters for swimming.
#5 Watersports on Bear Lake
Our famous “Caribbean of the Rockies” is by far the biggest attraction boasting 109 square miles of calm and tranquil waters. There are marinas and public boat ramps around the lake to launch kayaks and SUPs, powerboats and sail boats, wave runners and jet skis, or inflatable water trampolines for endless family fun! You can bring your own boat to Bear Lake or rent from a local outfitter – just always stay alert for the Bear Lake Monster!
#6 Catch a Trophy Bonneville Cutthroat Trout on Bear Lake
The Idaho State record cutthroat trout (19 pounds) was caught right here in the bountiful waters of Bear Lake! All you need is a valid fishing license, your fishing gear (rentals readily available at the local marina), and a dose of patience and perseverance, which every angler has! Bear Lake boasts four seasons of world-class fishing and is home to four endemic species – Bonneville Cisco, Bonneville Whitefish, Bear Lake Whitefish, and Bear Lake Sculpin.
#7 Go Scuba Diving at Cisco Beach
Bear Lake is a top destination in Utah for scuba diving with three popular dive sites – Cisco Beach, The Wreck, and the artificial Car Lot reef. In summer the average water temperature ranges from 55-65oF so pack (or rent) a dive suit to stay warm on your underwater experience of Bear Lake, Utah.
#8 Bike the Bear Lake Legacy Pathway
Exploring the Bear Lake Legacy Pathway is an outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy. The paved path runs along the shoreline of Bear Lake and is great for a family bike ride or stroll with plenty of activities and attractions along the shoreline.
#9 Hike the Limber Pine Trail
Bear Lake’s Limber Pine Nature Trail is located near the Bear Lake Overlook on Hwy 89 at the summit of Logan Canyon. The easy and shaded 1.3-mile loop trail is the perfect introduction to hiking in Bear Lake with elevated views of Bear Lake and interpretive signs leading to an iconic 600-year old Limber Pine tree.
#10 Bird Watching & Wildlife Viewing in Bear Lake
The Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge on the north shore of Bear Lake is a top spot for wildlife viewing and bird watching with 160+ bird species, muskrats, skunks, rabbits and occasional Moose sightings. The reserve provides a valuable habitat and protects birdlife such as sandhill cranes, herons, white pelicans, snow egrets, and a large population of Canadian Geese. Don’t forget the binoculars!
#11 Swim (and Swing) in an Alpine Lake
A trip to Bloomington Lake is a must for your vacation in Bear Lake. A short and easy 1.4-mile hike through the forests in Bloomington Canyon leads to a beautiful alpine lake with crystal clear (and cool!) alpine waters with a rope swing, trees for camping hammocks, and an abundance of trout for keen fisherman.
#12 Take the Kids Fishing at Garden City Pond
If you’re visiting Bear Lake with small kids, the Garden City Pond off Bear Lake Blvd. is a quiet spot for young kids to learn to fish. The small fishing pond has a paved sidewalk around the pond, a playground for the kids and a fishing dock to cast a line. No license is required for kids under 12.
#13 Play a Round of Mountain Golf
Golfing at a high altitude is great! Book a tee time at Bear Lake Golf Course on Sweetwater Hill near Garden City or Bear Lake West Golf Course on the Idaho side of Bear Lake. Both Bear Lake golf courses offer 9-holes of challenging and rewarding play, and panoramic views of blue skies and the Caribbean waters of Bear Lake.
#14 Hit the Dirt Trails
Bear Lake is one of the top destinations in Utah for mountain biking with easy trails for beginner rides to thrilling singletrack trails with switchbacks, downhill jumps, technical challenges, and steep elevation gain (and loss!). Epic Recreation has a wide selection of fat bike and mountain bike rentals to hit the dirt trails around Bear Lake.
#15 Road Biking around Bear Lake
The paved Bear Lake Road Bike Route winds for 52-miles along the shoreline with a slight elevation gain and spectacular views of Bear Lake’s turquoise waters and mountain backdrops. The locals say the views of Bear Lake are best when the loop is traveled clockwise.
#16 Rent a UTV/ATV
Bear Lake is surrounded by hundreds of miles of off-road trails for backcountry adventures. Whether off-roading is a new experience or you’re seeking steep drop-offs and off-the-beaten path challenges, Bear Lake has the trails and machine rentals for a bucket-list backcountry experience.
#17 Horseback Riding in the Forest
Bear Lake is bordered by the Cache National Forest with miles of horse riding trails for equestrian lovers to discover. Boarding facilities are available locally to bring your own horse to Bear Lake or discover the beauty of Bear Lake’s mountain wilderness on a guided horse ride.
#18 Search for Fireflies
From late May to early June, glowing fireflies light up the night skies around the damp shoreline of Bear Lake. If you’re visiting Bear Lake in the summer, head to the boardwalk in Garden City Park to search for the bioluminescent lightning bugs putting on their own fireworks show at dusk.
#19 Go Karting in Garden City
If the kids (or mom and dad!) need to let off a little energy, the Bear Lake Renegade Raceway go-kart track is the perfect place to satisfy the need for speed! The outdoor go-kart circuit caters for race drivers as young as 7 years old with single carts and double carts for hours of family fun. Passengers must be 2 years old and up.
#20 Family Fun at Bridgerland Adventure Park
Bridgerland Adventure Park is perched on the mountainside overlooking Bear Lake and offers endless fun for all ages. Bridgerland has a rope course, zipline, free fall, climbing rock, giant swing, axe throw, tubing, bungee trampoline, mini-golf, disc-golf, kids train rides and a playground. Refreshments, sandwiches and ice cream are available for sale and there’s picnic tables with Bear Lake views for miles.
#21 Play Pickleball in Bear Lake
Pickleball is America’s fastest growing sport – a cross between tennis, badminton and ping pong, and loads of fun! The pickleball courts in Garden City are open year-round to the public, but you’ll have to pick up your own gear on your shopping trip!
#22 Go Shopping in Downtown Garden City
Pick up a raspberry shake to go and enjoy a little retail therapy in downtown Garden City. From old school candies, frozen raspberry treats, and specialty foods to Bear Lake souvenirs and sports outfitters for all your adventure gear, shopping in Bear Lake is a fun way to spend a vacation day.
#23 Book a Spa Treatment
Indulge and unwind with a rejuvenating treatment or couples massage at the Spa at Water’s Edge Resort at Bear Lake. Every vacation deserves a spoil.
#24 Pick Your Own Raspberries
The Bear Lake raspberry harvest begins around late July and by August, Bear Lake’s sweet, delicious and world-famous raspberries are ripe for the picking and the raspberry craze begins. Bear Lake raspberry shakes are delicious but picking your own raspberries in Bear Lake is one for the memory bank!
#25 Take a Scenic Drive
If you’re driving to Bear Lake from Salt Lake City, your journey will take you on the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway, a spectacularly scenic drive to Bear Lake. If you’re traveling from Idaho, the Oregon Trail Bear Lake Scenic Byway runs from McCammon through Lava Hot Springs, Soda Springs, Montpelier and along the lake shoreline south to Laketown. Panoramic views, historic attractions, and outdoor adventures await when you take a scenic drive in Bear Lake, UT.
#26 Rock Climbing in Logan Canyon
Logan Canyon cuts through the Bear River Range of the Wasatch Mountains and offers climbers of all abilities ample opportunity to climb the craggy limestone cliffs and canyons. Top climbing routes include the First Practice Wall, Second Practice Wall, and the classic climbing routes at China Wall.
#27 Go Underground at Minnetonka Cave
Minnetonka Cave is one of the largest limestone caves in Idaho nestled deep in the Bear River mountains in Saint Charles Canyon. Visitors can experience half a mile of underground adventures with 9 different rooms, 400 steps up and down the cave, glistening stalagmites and stalactites, and unique formations that spark the imagination. Guided tours are available from mid-June through Labor Day and bring a coat as temperatures average 40oF.
#28 Visit Paris, Idaho
Paris, Idaho was the first town built in the Bear Lake Valley by the early Mormon settlers in 1863 and is rich in history. Take a free guided tour of the architecturally stunning Paris Tabernacle, a unique historical site crafted by hand in the late 1800s and browse the exhibits and artifacts at the City of Paris Historical Museum across the street. For more spelunking experiences, the Paris Ice Caves are located along a dirt road 10-miles up Paris Canyon.
#29 Explore the historic Oregon Trail
The National Oregon/California Trail Center is located on the historic Oregon Trail in Montpelier, Idaho and offers visitors a hands-on (and super fun!) lesson on the history of the Bear Lake Valley. Experience an interactive reenactment of a wagon trail adventure on the Oregon Trail, explore the exhibits at the Montpelier Heritage Museum and Historical Quilt Museum, and shop for western souvenirs in Pegleg Smith’s Trading post. It’s a history lesson the whole family will love!
#30 Butch Cassidy Bank Robbery Museum
In 1896, Butch Cassidy brazenly robbed the Bank of Montpelier, the first bank heist by the notorious Wild Bunch Gang. The building has been preserved and restored as the Butch Cassidy Museum and is the only bank in the US robbed by the infamous outlaws that still stands today. The museum is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
#31 Dig up Fossils
Fish Dig Quarry is the only quarry in the world where you can dig for fossils and keep every fossil you find! The fossil-rich quarry is located in Kemmerer, Wyoming, less than an hour from the shores of Bear Lake and is a delight for budding paleontologists and fossil hunters. Fossils hidden within the rock include rare fish, reptiles, giant birds, and a variety of small carnivores!
BEAR LAKE WINTER ACTIVITIES
#32 Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding at Beaver Mountain
As the winter months approach a blanket of snow covers the Bear Lake Valley creating a winter wonderland for snowy adventures. Beaver Mountain, fondly known as “The Beav” is Utah’s #1 family-friendly resort with over 800 skiable acres for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities, 4 ski lifts, a magic carpet for the kids, ski school, and a cozy mountain lodge. Situated only 13 miles from Bear Lake, Beaver Mountain is friendly, affordable and one of the best places to spend a winter’s day in Bear Lake.
#33 Snowmobiling in Logan Canyon
The Bear Lake Valley boasts over 350-miles of groomed trails for snowmobiles and is consistently ranked one of the top destinations for snowmobiling in Utah. Stay in a remote mountain cabin and bring your own snowmobiles to Bear Lake, or pick up a 6-seater rental from Bear Lake Funtime and tick off a bucket-list winter activity in Bear Lake.
#34 Book a Guided Snowmobile Tour
For the ultimate snowmobile adventure in Bear Lake, book a tour of the vast backcountry with an experienced guide from Beaver Creek Lodge. Aside from half-day and full-day snowmobile rentals, they offer a private backcountry guide service and advanced backcountry riding skills clinic to take your snowmobiling skills to the next level.
#35 Ice Fishing in Bear Lake
In the winter months, Bear Lake is a hot spot for ice fishing! Avid anglers adorned in winter gear brave the cold weather (and icy waters) jigging for Bonneville cisco, trout and whitefish. Some of the best ice fishing on Bear Lake is along the eastern shores near Cisco Beach, home of the Monster Cisco Disco!
#36 Nordic Skiing on the Bear Lake Golf Course
You don’t need to travel far for Nordic ski trails in Bear Lake! The 9-hole Bear Lake Golf Course is transformed in the winter months from rolling fairways to Nordic trails for classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing with more trails available at Beaver Bottoms and Sink Hollow near Beaver Mountain.
#37 Fat Bike the Groomed Winter Trails
Mountain bikers can enjoy some of Bear Lake’s best summer trails on a fat bike in the winter months. Many of the groomed trails are open to bikes and the Epic Adventure Center has all the gear needed to ride the winter trails in and around Bear Lake.
#38 Snowshoe Hikes in Bear Lake
Pick up snowshoe rentals for the whole family from Epic Recreation in Garden City and head out to the winter trails in Bear Lake and Logan Canyon for an epic snowshoe hike. Two popular Bear Lake trails for snowshoeing are the easy Limber Pine Trail or the longer 9-mile trail along Bunchgrass Creek to White Pine Lake (you can turn around at any point!).
#39 Sledding & Tubing The Sinks
The Sinks is a natural limestone sinkhole just west of Bear Lake in Logan Canyon. The wide-open bowl is a powdery playground for outdoor activities in the winter months – perfect for sledding, tubing and old-fashioned snow play. Epic Recreation has snow tubes and sleds for visitors to Bear Lake to rent by the day.
SOCIALIZING & ENTERTAINMENT IN BEAR LAKE
#40 Sip on Raspberry Shakes!
Bear Lake is home of the famous raspberry shake, and you’ll find them all over town! LaBeau’s has been a local icon since 1981, written about in the New York Times, and the best place for a raspberry shake in Bear Lake, according to the locals. You can always pick up fresh raspberries from a roadside stand and blend your own creations at your Bear Lake cabin.
#41 The Chocolate Bear
Chocolate lovers, be sure to stop by The Chocolate Bear on Bear Lake Blvd. for homemade frozen chocolate dipped raspberries! The quaint store is full of gift baskets and shelves of heavenly treats – you’ll be tempted to leave with a lot more than delicious, dipped raspberries.
#42 Ice Cream at the Car Wash
Head to Dee’s Car Wash Ice Cream Shop in Laketown for a scoop, or two, of famous Kemps Ice Cream (a choice of 30 awesome flavors), or an award-winning milkshake (15 flavors). It’s retro, cool, and a unique Bear Lake experience for a hot summer’s day.
#43 Cody’s Gastro Garage
Staying auto-themed, Cody’s Gastro Garage is another iconic Bear Lake attraction and worthy of a stop on your Bear Lake restaurant itinerary. Car enthusiasts may want to plan their stay around Cody’s Annual Car Show in June.
#44 Campfire Grill & Restaurant
Pick a night with clear skies and plan an evening of open-air dining with firepits, live music, views of Bear Lake, and star studded skies at Campfire Grill & Restaurant on Conestoga Ranch.
#45 A Family Dinner Outing
Bear Lake is a top Utah destination for family reunions and it’s easy to find a restaurant to cater to the whole crowd. Here’s our guide to the Best Restaurants in Bear Lake to guide you when planning your family reunion on the shores of Utah’s Caribbean of the Rockies!
#46 Catch a Play at the Pickleville Playhouse
A vacation in Bear Lake is not complete without a lighthearted Broadway musical or hilarious melodrama at the Pickleville Playhouse. The Pickleville Playhouse is one of Bear Lake’s top attractions and a long standing tradition that delights audiences of all ages.
#47 Host a Dinner Party at Home
Our Bear Lake cabin rentals are designed for entertaining with welcoming indoor and outdoor spaces for social gatherings. Host a family BBQ cookout, hire a personal chef or private caterer for a dinner party, or book a funky food truck for a backyard gathering.
#48 Raspberry Days Festival
If all this talk of raspberries has you salivating, be sure to visit Bear Lake for the famous Raspberry Days Festival, an annual 3-day festival held on the first weekend in August. Raspberry Days Festival events include a Little Miss Berry pageant, a festive parade and rodeo, chuckwagon breakfasts, a craft fair, and beach fireworks over Bear Lake.
#49 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest
From summer festivities to Bear Lake’s famous winter event – the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest. Locals and visitors brave the icy waters jigging at Cisco Disco and swimming in the Monster Plunge, with endless festivities for the whole family.
#50 Stay with Bear Lake Premier Cabins
The highlight of your vacation will be your stay at Bear Lake Premier Cabins. Our cabin rentals are designed with your vacation in mind and equipped with amenities to enhance your guest experience – modern kitchens, spacious gathering areas, bunk rooms and games rooms for the kids, hot tubs and pools, and Bear Lake views that will leave you breathless. Start planning your vacation with Bear Lake Premier Cabins today!